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Monday, July 23, 2012


by Cyrus Webb

No matter how hard you try in life there will always be situations that arise that are out of your control and that threaten your joy. For some the compounding of problems is enough to cause them to become disheartened and lose faith.

Others, though, are able to use the challenges they experience as lessons for themselves and others. Gospel music singing sensation Vickie Winans is that kind of individual.

I first interviewed her some three years ago, and I have to say that catching up with her again this year was like visiting an old friend. Not only has she enjoyed an amazing career in music but she has branded herself to include merchandise, a Gospel comedy store and selfless work to assist those less fortunate. You might know her for that beaming smile, but there is a testimony that goes with it that will not only inspire you in your own life but encourage you to uplift someone else as well.

Through her newest album HOW I GOT OVER, Ms. Winans has shared her own personal testimony and rallied people of all ages around the world through her upbeat message and music. "I like to give people what I get," she told me. "I believe in hope. I've been through a lot, but I have been able to be triumphant. I've been able to cry and then turn around and laugh. It's been tough. Life brings about a lot of down sides, but there is a greater upside that I am enjoying because of some things that I have released and let go."

At almost 60 years old Vickie Winans has embraced all forms of communicating with her fans, including Facebook and Twitter. "It is all about sharing a testimony," she says. "I want other people to be able to say 'If she can go through it than I can do it too.'"

When I asked about her decision to share so much of her own experiences in her music, Vickie told me that it adds to the realness of the message. "There are some people who like to come off as perfect," she explained. "I'm not that. There is no way you can be effective without telling people what you have really been through. With that attitude it's great when people can relate to what you've been through and what you've conquered."

This has not always been easy for Ms. Winans, though. Like all of us, she has had to struggle with some of the same difficulties that we experience. She described her life to me as if it was a school. "It took me 54 years to pass one class," she says. "That was the class of crying, stressing, worrying about what people thought about me and said about me. I would try to buy people and please them, and make them like me. I know now you can't please people all the time. I had to let all that go. 

"One day in my own mind I got up, put on my cap and gown of my life's situation and walked across the stage of this class. I got my diploma. When I opened it, it said this: 'You have finally passed the class of what people think about you.' Every since then I have been the happiest person. I don't care what people think. I have released it and let it go."

What does Vickie say to all of us about the challenges we face that try to overwhelm us? "There's another side," she says. "I know somebody greater than all that you're going through. To get relief you start on your knees, and then you continue pushing. Get motivated. Find yourself within yourself. Don't stop. You have to keep going. You just don't quit."

To stay in contact with everything Vickie Winans, visit You can also find her on Twitter at

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